ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY COVID-19

The City of Springfield’s Office of Planning & Economic Development, along with other area organizations, are available to help you and your business navigate through this pandemic. Below is a list of resources and information that is updated daily. If you have questions or need advice which organization to speak with, please call our office at 217.789.2377.

To return to the City of Springfield’s main COVID-19 information page, click here.


  Face Covering Requirement

Individuals are required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public space. This includes at bars and restaurants in common areas (e.g. Waiting for a table, going to the restroom, going to get a drink, picking up an order).

For question about this new order or best practices or recommendations about operating your business during COVID-19, please contact the Springfield Fire Department’s Fire Safety Division at 217.789.2170.

Click here to view 6 different "Masks Required" signs. Print and display any of the options.

Download and print a general sign for your business.

Download and print social distancing policies for employers.

  Springfield In Phase 4 – Warning Level

The City of Springfield is part of the Central Region that is currently in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. Due to an increase in positive test results, the Mayor has issued his sixth Executive Order requiring compliance with area bars and restaurants. Included in the guidance is that each patron must have an assigned table (seated or high top) and must remain at their table unless leaving the restaurant or going to the restroom. If a patron moves away from their assigned table or seat (whether to visit another table, go to the bar or restroom), a face covering must be worn.

To review the sixth Executive Order, click here.

To review the Bar & Restaurant guidelines,click here.

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has a series of frequently asked questions (FAQ) along with additional information on their website.

  Business Interruption Grants (BIG)

DCEO will launch the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. The total program funding will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 of which has been set aside for childcare providers, and is funded by the CARES Act. DCEO  will make the application for BIG available on Monday, June 22.

BIG includes support for:

  • Businesses in DIAs - $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each
  • Bars and Restaurants - $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing at least 1,000 grants of up to $20,000 each
  • Barbershops and Salons - $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers - $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each

  Resources from Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce has created a guide for reopening your business as a tool to assist you along the way.

The Chamber has also compiled a list of resources where members can purchase personal protective equipment and other items recommended to ensure the safety of your employees and customers. We continue to update this list as information becomes available. Click here for more information.

  CDBG COVID Relief Community Feedback

The City of Springfield gathered feedback from residents on the amendment regarding the allocation of $799,000 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for Springfield COVID-19 relief. Click here to read the feedback.

The Community Development Block Grant Program is a federal program issued by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Due to the coronavirus health pandemic, the City of Springfield received an additional $799,000 in funding to be used on programs and needs that are negatively impacted due to COVID-19. These funds are designated for low- to moderate-income persons and locations.

  EIDL and Advance Program Reopened

To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.

SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

  Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - UPDATE

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is accepting applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program beginning Monday, May 11.

  • Apply for regular unemployment before you apply for PUA.
  • If you applied for regular unemployment and have been denied between April 1, 2019 and today, do not reapply.
  • Go into your regular unemployment account and set up direct deposit for payment.
  • Have your 2019 tax return or proof of income ready and available.
  • Be prepared to certify.
  • Remember: You must submit a new application for PUA. The two systems are not transferrable.
  • A guide can be downloaded here.

  Paycheck Protection Program - UPDATE

The initial $350 billion set aside for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was exhausted as of April 16 and resumes April 27. Lawmakers approved an additional $310 billion for the PPP. If you are unsure whether or not you were approved in the first round of PPP lending, check with your lender.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utilities.

The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020. Click here for more information.

For a listing of local lenders who can assist you through the application process, click here.

  Save Small Business Fund

The Save Small Business Fund is a grant-making initiative offering short-term relief for small employers. The fund will make $5,000 grants to small businesses (3-20 employees) that have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. A short application will go live on April 20, 2020, here.

  Get Hired Illinois

DCEO in conjunction with IDES launched the Get Hired Illinois. This new portal is designed to connect workers with available job and career training opportunities across the state. Residents and employers may access the site here. Illinois residents will also have free access to online workforce development courses via a partnership with Coursera.

  All In 4U Pledge

Businesses in Springfield and Sangamon County are encouraged to take the ALL IN 4U pledge, a new health and safety initiative organized by several community organizations to instill consumer confidence and energize the local economy. Though participation is highly encouraged, the ALL IN 4U pledge is not mandated, associated with, or regulated by the CDC or any public health entity. It is a voluntary action for intent to follow best practices only. Businesses interested in joining the ALL IN 4U initiative should visit www.ALLIN4U.org for more information and to actually take the pledge online.

  Springfield Business Registration

Springfield businesses are encouraged to register with www.springfieldzoom.com so consumers can find out the status of their favorite local businesses and their services in one, easily searchable, website. Registration is free and easy.

  Local Business Relief

Restaurants Allowed Alcohol Sales

As the City of Springfield Liquor Commissioner, Mayor Langfelder signed an order that will allow a package of unopened alcohol with takeout food orders. This order will benefit over 130 restaurants. Click here to read the Order.

  Justine Petersen COVID-19 Relief Program

Justine Petersen is offering low interest small business loans to Illinois businesses impacted by this current pandemic. Maximum loan size is $50,000, with an interest rate of 3% amortized over 5 years. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital or to address other costs incurred during, or as a result of, the Covid-19 crisis. For more information, contact JP staffer Galen Gondolfi at ggondolfi@justinepetersen.org or call 314.565.2223.

  Illinois Humanities Emergency Relief Grants

The Illinois Humanities Emergency Relief Grants are focused for nonprofit cultural and humanities-oriented organizations with annual budgets of $300,000 or less and are located in places within Illinois other than Chicago. The total budget for this program is $60,000. A total of 24 grants will be awarded. Complete information and the application form can be found online here .

  Small Business COVID Relief Program

This new program was introduced by Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs. The Program is an impact investment loan program under which the State Treasurer would make up to $500 million in deposits available to financial institutions throughout the state, at near-zero rates, to assist Illinois small business and non-profits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this funding is to provide vital economic support to small businesses and non-profits throughout Illinois to help overcome the loss of revenue they are experiencing. Click here to find out more.

  DCEO Emergency Assistance Programs

UPDATE: DCEO introduced an emergency loan fund that opened on March 30, 2020. It is asked that applicants who applied prior to that date “reapply” in the streamlined loan portal with the promise that they would not lose their place in the queue of applications received. The applicants would have applied either through the original electronic loan application or the box.com process where they uploaded .pdf application forms and would have an application number starting with a “2”.

The purpose of this request was that the new streamlined process offers much more efficient underwriting and disbursement and would get the funds in the hands of those approved for loans more quickly.

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

A $14 million grant program supporting working capital as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operation. Eligible applicants include bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor and who generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019 and hotels with a valid license (hotels, motels, other lodging establishments) and who generated revenues of less than $8 million in 2019. Bars and restaurants that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000. Hotels that generated less than $8M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000.

 Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

The Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund will offer small businesses low interest loans of up to $50,000. Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is repurposing $20 million in CDBG funds to stand up the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This Fund will offer small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. Local governments can apply on behalf of businesses with 50 employees or less. Only units of local government recognized by the Illinois Constitution and able to support economic development activities on a sufficient scale are eligible to apply for Economic Development grant funding. This includes cities, villages, and counties. Municipalities must not be a HUD direct Entitlement community or be located in an urban county that receives "entitlement" funds.

  Federal CARES Act

The City of Springfield is closely following the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act is a document that has been created to help small business owners understand this bill better. Click here to read this guide.

  Government Updates

Illinois’ COVID-19 Website

The State of Illinois launched a website focused on COVID-19 , which includes the latest news, prevention along with resources for individuals and businesses. The public is asked to check the site regularly for updates.

U.S. Legislation

The President signed HR6201 on March 18. Division C highlights the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. To review the full the bill, click here.

Governor Announcements

  Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave for Workers Tax Credits

As a follow-up to the federal government’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act, IR-2020-57 was introduced regarding Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave for Workers and Tax Credits for Businesses. If your business is looking at the possibility of laying off employees, this provision should be examined in conjunction with Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order issued on Friday, March 20.

  COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. For more information please visit their website.

Please note: if you file an Unemployment Insurance claim on or after July 17, 2016 and you are subject to the registration requirement, you must complete your registration immediately through www.IllinoisJobLink.com.

Your Unemployment Insurance benefits will not be paid until your registration is complete. CLICK HERE to apply.

  Support for Employees

  • The Illinois Department of Employment Security has published Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and unemployment benefits on their website. Read more of their helpful information here.
  • The Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries is offering phone appointments for area employees who are off of work because of COVID-19. For more information, click here.
  • Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

  Local Banks

Though it is not a government program, talking to your current bank is recommended if you are having any problems or anticipate any problems. As new programs become available, we will coordinate and send the information out. Most banks will handle concerns on a case by case basis. We spoke to almost all of our local and national lending institutions and they are all willing and ready to help.

  Advice for Business Owners

What Is Considered An “Essential Business”?

There are various resources available to business owners as they navigate through COVID-19. Following are helpful guides and resources available on the internet.

  Tourism-Related Updates

For local and state tourism related updates related to COVID-19, visit our Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau website.